Compare the ways that Mr Briggs and Mrs Kay are presented in 'Our Day Out'. With whom does Willy Russell intend us to sympathise?

Essay by toland123 December 2004

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

Downloaded 28 times
Keywords , , , ,

Our Day out by Willie Russell is an energetic and humorous play, about a school trip to Conwy castle. The 'progress class', a class for illiterate children, are on a trip to Wales where the liberal Mrs Kay and the strict Mr Briggs have completely different ideas about the day should be organised.

Mrs Kay and Mr Briggs have two distinct personalities that clash frequently throughout the play and Willie Russell presents both in an interesting and comical way in his drama.

Mrs Kay is a benevolent and fun teacher who treats the children as if they were her own. 'She always reminds me of a mother hen rather than a teacher'. Mr Briggs says this and it sums up exactly what Mrs Kay is like and her attitude to the children.

Her aim on the school trip is for everyone to have fun with the only rule being '...think

of yourselves but also think of others'. She genuinely cares for the children and wants them to have an enjoyable day out to assuage the social injustice that they find themselves up against.

Mr Briggs' ideology of the children is contrary to Mrs Kay's. Mr Briggs is a strict, intolerant and old-fashioned teacher who is has firm standards and is harsh towards the students. 'Stop! Slater, walk...walk! You, boy...come here. Now stop. All of you...stop!' Mr Briggs is shouting as the children get off the coach but Mrs Kay casually walks past and pours out some coffee.

At the zoo, Mr Briggs lightens up a little and we get to see more of the soft and loving side that he conceals in favour of the harsh and angry one. He is enjoying himself when he explains about all of the different animal types to the children, and in the café...